The 10 Cases is a little, friendly breath of fresh air in Covent Garden. There's a daily changing 3 starters, 3 mains and 3 desserts scribbled on the blackboard, with 1 or 2 signature dishes that are stayers. Mains come with your choice of side dish, included in the reasonable prices.
It has a wine bar feel - except that the tables are mostly reserved for diners, and the bar alone the refuge for the boozers. There will be 10 whites and 10 reds on the menu - they stock 10 cases of each wine, and when anything runs out, they'll swap it for 10 cases of something else. Simples. And they're very friendly about giving you tastes - bonus. Drink by the glass, carafe or bottle of a well chosen wine list with prices ranging generally from about £4-£10 per glass.
|Wine list and free pea shoot nibbly|
The fare itself is fairly basic, bistro stuff - all very fresh, if not earth shattering enough to distract from the lovely wines, which are probably the real reason you're there.
|Lovely house salad with runny poached egg and mushrooms|
The rolled lamb shoulder was just ok, and while the whole, grilled Dover sole with caper berries was fresh and hearty, it was probably a tad overcooked.
|Rolled shoulder of lamb|
There's no service charge, only a small mark up on wines but there's a £1.50 cover charge for freshly baked, warm bread, water etc. Budget on spending about £6 per starter, £16 per main and £5 per dessert.
The things that would get me back to The 10 Cases are the fabulously, refreshingly simple concept, the stellar service - so keen, so interested, so helpful (there are 2 guys behind the operation, and you get the sense they're keenly involved) - the lovely wines and the easy peasy, relaxed atmosphere. The food was a nice accompaniment but not a draw card in its own right, at least at these early stages.
The 10 Cases, 16 Endell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9BD (Tel: 020 7836 6801)
PS. Apparently there's also a private dining room downstairs.